The Portland Timbers kick off the 2013 MLS season Sunday at JELD-WEN Field.
FOX 12's Dan Sheldon recently sat down with new Timbers head coach Caleb Porter, who played college soccer at Indiana University, pro soccer in San Jose and Tampa Bay, and later became coach of University of Akron and the U.S. U-23 team.
I'd say the biggest surprise is the weather. Everybody, they really bashed the weather.
The weather has been great, especially compared to Ohio or Michigan in the Midwest.
I always loved the freedom of the game and the fact that when the whistle blew to start the game, you were free on the field.
Another thing that is great about soccer is you're not limited by your God-given deficiencies, I was never going to be a tall guy or a great football or basketball guy no matter how hard I worked.
I was extremely passionate about the sport, but I wasn't necessarily skillful, creative or technically gifted.
It's interesting. I'm drawn to the players that can do things that I couldn't. Guys like Diego Valeri, for me, I admire what they do because I could never do what they do.
The expectations are high. I wouldn't compare him to Landon Donovan, personally. Landon Donovan is a very direct, aggressive player, and Darlington is a player that at times likes to float in and out. He'll hurt you in moments, he's not going to hurt you for 90 minutes.
He's part midfielder, part striker. If you try to expect him to score the goal all the time, you'll be disappointed, but he's going to impact this team. He's going to be a player that creates goals, whether it's the assist, whether it's the goal at times, whether it's even the second assist.
I can give a rah rah win one for the Gipper speech with the best of them, but in the end, if you're always having to do that, for every peak there's a valley. I'm there to help them. If it looks like they need a kick in the butt, I'll give them a kick in the butt. But there are going to be times too where I'll just get out of the way.
I'm not a guy that's always trying to crack jokes. I think it's important to be professional and businesslike.
At the end of the day, I'm about getting the job done.
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